pregnancy pictures• About the Guide
pregnancy picturesThe Basics
pregnancy photography• How to Prepare
Pregnancy tips• Wardrobe

Elements of Posing
maternity photography guide• Posture
Pregnancy tips• Arching
Pregnancy tipsWalkthrough - posture
Pregnancy tips• Gaze
Pregnancy tips• Expression
Pregnancy tips• The Leg Up

Pregnancy photography• Best Foot Forward
belly pics• The Crossover
belly picsWalkthrough the Crossover

Pregnancy photography• Finding a Pose
belly pics• Placement of Hands

Maternity Posing Ideas
pregnancy• The Cradled Belly
maternity• The Proud Mom
belly picsWalkthrough - Proud Mom
belly pics• The Seated Triangle
Pregnancy tips• Just the Belly
Pregnancy photography• The Hands of Love
Pregnancy photography• Over the Belly
Pregnancy tips• Peek-a-boo
Pregnancy tips• The Open Shirt
Pregnancy tips• Face to Face
Pregnancy photography• The Kiss
belly picsWalkthrough - Couples
Pregnancy tips• The Bump
Pregnancy tips• Prom Gone Wrong

Pregnancy tips• Dad & the Belly
Posing with Kids:
Pregnancy tips• Holding the Sibling
Pregnancy photography• Bribes & Trickery
Pregnancy tips• The Sibling & the Belly
Pregnancy tips• The Juggling Act
Pregnancy tips• Dad & the Belly
Pregnancy tipsWalkthrough with children

The Camera Angle
nude pregnancy portraits• The Profile
nude pregnancy portraits• Straight On
nude pregnancy portraits• 3/4 View
nude pregnancy portraits• From Above
nude pregnancy portraits• From Below

Creatiing a Progression
nude pregnancy portraits• How to take a progression

The Maternity Silhouette
nude pregnancy portraits• Rules of the Silhouette

Nude and Semi-Nude
nude maternity photography• The Pregnant Nude
nude pregnancy portraits• Working with Fabrics
nude maternity photography• Coverage I
nude pregnancy portraitsWalkthrough - Coverage
nude pregnancy portraits• Coverage II
nude pregnancy portraits• Coverage for Couples
nude pregnancy portraits• The Demi
nude pregnancy portraits• The Seated Nude
nude pregnancy portraits• The Sweep
nude pregnancy portraitsWalkthrough - Swept Fabric
nude pregnancy portraits• The Horizontal Nude

Photographing yourself
nude pregnancy portraits• What you will need
nude pregnancy portraits• Settings

7 Common Problems with Maternity Portraits
maternity posing ideas• Backdrop Trouble
maternity posing ideas• On Camera Flash
belly pics• Harsh Lighting
maternity portraits• The Window Dilemma
maternity portraits• Lost in the Background

maternity portraits• Unflattering Wardrobe
maternity portraits• Overprocessing

maternity portraitsWalkthrough - Processing


Katsoulis Photography of Boston

The Illustrated Guide to Pregnancy Photography is now available for the iPad, and Kindle. The guide is filled with over three hundred pages of beautiful, instructive photographs, in-depth walkthroughs, galleries and more, demonstrating how to get great pregnancy portraits.

Katsoulis Photography of Boston

This guide is brought to you by Katsoulis Photography of Massachusetts. Gregory Katsoulis has been creating professional maternity portraits for over 10 years.

If you are looking for more ideas, please visit my online gallery of maternity photography, showcasing some of my best work.

If you find this guide helpful, please link to us from your blog, website or message board. You should also feel free to drop us a line and share your best pictures!

Facebook Maternity

Unflattering Wardrobe

To take an extreme example, look at the shirt below. (Graciously and garishly provided by the model as an example of a bad wardrobe choice)

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No lighting in the world is going to help here. The strong pattern and extreme colors overwhelm the image. More often than not, bold patterns are going to make it difficult to read the shape of the belly. From the front, the shape of the belly is totally lost.

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From the side, the situation is improved, but the focus is still drawn away from the subject.

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A finer or more subtle pattern may work. A bold pattern can also work if it helps to define the subject as below.

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A pattern works best when it creates visual interest. In the case of a maternity portrait, it should help to define the shape of the belly.

Professional Pregnancy Portraits

Another thing to be aware is support, and I don't mean the emotional kind. This can be an issue for maternity photos, as the mom-to-be may not want her bra to show, but also may not be happy with the results without it.

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Something else to avoid where possible is flesh-tones. While there are many, many colors that can be considered "Flesh-tones", for the purpose of this guide a flesh-tone is the color of your subject's skin. The problem with flesh-tones is that they read ambiguously. The photo on the left, below, almost gives the impression of a nude, but not in a positive or interesting way. The photo would be better if it simply were photographed as a nude as the next two example show.

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A more common wardrobe choice is the mom-to-be wearing her husband's shirt, open to show her belly. It is a long-standing classic of maternity photography, but most often it is done poorly. In the previous section on lighting I showed the wrinkled white shirt on a wrinkled white backdrop, which creates a lot of unaesthetic visual confusion. Even without the issue of wrinkles, the bulk of the larger shirt tends to be unflattering or, at least, uninteresting.

In order to do the "dad shirt" well, you need to provide contrast conceptually. One way to do this is to contrast the bulkiness of the shirt with the lines of the legs and the form of the belly.

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This is a good place to apply a squint test. Squint your eyes at the two examples below...

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Notice how the photo of her in the black dress is much clearer, even if stand back and squint your eyes. The dress is simple and modest, but drapes nicely, creating good lines which improve the photo's composition.

The issue is not simply one of contrast. The white on black photo has just as much contrast between clothing and background. It has more to do with line and form. Try squinting again...

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A better outfit also brings with it more opportunity. Good line and form is essential for a good silhouette.

Professional Pregnancy Portraits

Another thing to consider with wardrobe is how well the style and color of the clothes suit the model.

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The very bold yellow does not suit the model here and while the hood seems like a cute idea it doesn't feel right. (Perhaps because it makes her look like a cone-head.) Even in black and white, the color still has some effect, complementing or failing to compliment the skin.